Kenya + 1 more

Cross-border attack by militia leaves 44 dead, including 21 schoolchildren, in Kenya

News and Press Release
Originally published
(New York, 13 July): An attack on the village of Turbi, in the Masarbit district of Kenya, reportedly carried out by some 500 well-armed members of the Gabre militia, which is reportedly based in southern Ethiopia, left at least 44 persons dead, including 21 schoolchildren in uniform, and wounded many others. "I deplore this horrific attack against civilians, the majority of whom were innocent women and children," said Jan Egeland, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "The direct targeting of a school is particularly reprehensible."
In response, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) regional office in Nairobi today convened an urgent Rapid-On-Set Disaster Committee meeting with humanitarian partners and government representatives. A second meeting will be held tomorrow. OCHA has also been coordinating with the Kenyan Red Cross Society, to respond to the immediate need for medical assistance in this town.

An estimated 1,000 families need emergency assistance. Priority needs are for health, temporary shelter and food. The Ministry of Health has appealed for medical oxygen /oxygen cylinders, sutures and dressing materials, blood transfusion equipment, and assistance for medical evacuation of critical patients. The Kenyan Red Cross has dispatched food and other relief items to the area, and the Government has also indicated that it plans to provide food aid to the victims. UNICEF has indicated that it will look into the supply of jerry cans, chlorine tablets, water trucking, mobile latrines, sanitation kits and emergency education kits.

There have been several minor attacks in 2005 between rival pastoralist clans straddling the Kenya-Ethiopia border, resulting in dozens of deaths. Yesterday's attacks were by far the most deadly in this conflict that has its roots in resource scarcity, cattle raiding, and political marginalization.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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